Kenya: Give All 70 Extra Seats in Parliament to Women, Says Ngilu

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The proposed constitutional amendments contained in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report have fallen short of tackling gender disparity gap in political leadership, reckons Kitui governor Charity Ngilu.

Ms Ngilu who spoke during the launch of the BBI report on October 26, 2020 noted lack of an explicit mechanism to realise the two-thirds gender principle both in the National Assembly and the expanded Executive.

“The issue of two-thirds has not been addressed in the National Assembly in this proposed Constitution,” she said.

The amendments introduce positions of the prime minister and two deputy prime ministers, all of whom shall be appointed by the President.

Opposite gender

They, however, fail to specify on whether the opposite gender will be considered or not.

The Prime Minister’s position is crucial in determining establishment and passing of gender-sensitive laws as he or she will be the government’s overseer of the legislative agenda in the National Assembly.

In her speech during the launch, Ms Ngilu was categorical that women must be included in the proposed power structure.

“It is said and it must be said all the time where two or three are gathered to make policy decisions there is got be gender rule applied,” she said.

Party lists

While the BBI team proposes that each of the 47 counties elect two senators- a man and a woman, they leave a vacuum on how fairness will be applied in topping up the seats in the National Assembly.

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